Policies and Guidelines

  • The new policy authorizes the use of a Big Bucket system of classifying and determining the maximum amount of time records may be kept. The retention system consists of five retention buckets

    Retention Buckets

    Applies to all KSU records, in paper and digital formats. The new system is designed to simplify the process of classifying records while remaining in compliance with the USG Records Retention Schedule. 

    1. Transitory Records (0-2 years)
    2. Administrative Support Records (5 years)
    3. Operational, Business and Legal Records (10 years)
    4. Exceptional Records (variable and long-term)
    5. Enduring Records (no maximum) 
  • Grouping similar items into larger categories (or buckets) is one way to process information more efficiently. For example, various types of documents related to an individual's employment are collected and stored in their personnel file; and all those files are stored in a secure repository for fast search and retrieval. 

    Records retention schedules also use big buckets. For example, the USG BOR retention schedule for "Accounting Records" (0472-03-001) lists more than two dozen different record types, from purchase orders to journal entries to operating statements. They share a similar function and have the same retention requirement (5 years).

    For the majority of business records, one of three big retention buckets will usually suffice:

    Short-term, transitory records - retain for useful life, destroy when no longer needed.
    Mid-term, operational or fiscal records - retain for 5-10 years, destroy retention has been met.
    Long-term, archival records - preserve in a climate-controlled, metadata-rich environment indefinitely.
    The US National Archives and Records Administration estimates that only 3-5% of the volume of federal records are archival. Each organization must how much of its cultural heritage to preserve.

  • The RIM team will consult with you to determine your new big bucket retention. 
  • The new Big Bucket system collapses multiple retention periods into one "big bucket." This means that in some cases, you may be storing paper records for a longer period of time than before. These records may be transferred to off-site storage for the duration of retention to free up valuable office space. 
  • All paper records transferred to off-site storage by January 1, 2023 will be classified under the old retention system. Records transferred after that date will be classified according to the new system. 
  • The term electronic records refer to  information recorded or "fixed" in a format and maintained as evidence of a transaction, event or decision. Electronic records are often maintained in the following file formats: Word documents (.docx), Excel files (.xls) and Adobe pdf documents (.pdf).  

    Records often consist of "unstructured data" because information is captured in a file format rather than a data field in a database. Data in a data system that constantly changes or is refreshed is not considered a record, however a snapshot of a database maintained as evidence recorded at a specific date and time would be considered a record.

    Electronic records at KSU are maintained in data systems (such as Concur, Agiloft, etc.), departmental and unit shared drives, SharePoint/Teams sites, and personal storage systems such as OneDrive. Each environment has different limitations meaning records management techniques must be appropriate to the environment. 


Records Retention

  • Records retention - the requirement to store certain inactive records for a period of time.

    Retention period - the amount of time to store inactive records before disposition.

    Retention schedule - a list of commonly held records, their descriptions, cutoff dates, and retention periods.

    Classification - Delegating items into particular groups based on similar characteristics, purpose, or value, usually within a hierarchy.

    Cutoff date - the date or event that triggers the retention period, usually end of fiscal or calendar year.

    Data - Smallest meaningful units of information. Information in any form on which computer programs operate. Any form of information whether in paper or electronic form.

    Disposition - the final action taken on inactive records: to destroy or to transfer to an archive.

    Transmittal - a list of boxes holding records to be put in offsite storage to fulfill their retention requirement before disposition.

  • Recorded information comes in so many different forms and shapes that it's nearly impossible to get everyone to agree on a standard definition of the term "record," in the sense of "information that has been recorded."

    Sometimes we recognize a record by its appearance - a legal document stamped and notarized (easy!) - and sometimes simply by its content and purpose - an online news release with embedded images and links (not-so-easy).

    We assume a record should be fixed, trustworthy, authentic, and reliable; a frozen snapshot in time of an event or transaction or decision that conveys a "package" of information. But these traditional characteristics are not so easily recognized in digital records.

    Whether or not we can easily identify records, we've come to rely on them heavily. To illustrate, take a quick look at a list 150 types of and synonyms for "record."

  • Traditionally, an archive is a climate-controlled, access-restricted area to store and preserve selected records that have historical and enduring significance to an institution or community. It is an intentional investment to preserve our cultural heritage.

    In information technology, an archive is an offline or near-line repository for non-current, seldom used data.

  • An offsite storage facility is a managed warehouse used primarily for storing temporary (non-permanent) paper records in cardboard boxes.
  • An inactive record is one that is no longer being modified, processed, added to, or frequently referenced. Also called "non-current record," it may need to be retained for reference for a certain period of time, or transferred to an archive for enduring preservation.
  • A temporary record is any record that is not considered of enduring value (permanent) and is assigned a retention period in a records retention schedule.
  • A transitory record is a temporary record with a short life span of usefulness. Typically anything with a retention period of "Useful life" or "Until obsolete or superseded" is classified as a transitory record.
  • Records that qualify for offsite storage:

    • Paper records that fit in a standard 1-cubic foot box.
    • Temporary, non-permanent records with an assigned retention schedule.
    • Have more than a year left to fulfill their retention requirement.
  • If the records qualify for offsite storage, here's what you do:

    1. Order standard 1-cubic foot boxes with lids from Staples.
    2. Remove files from hanging folders. Keep documents in file folders.
    3. Remove rubber bands, binder clips, and paper clips from documents.
    4. Fill box approximately three-quarters full. Make sure the lid fits tightly.
    5. Order barcode labels - one per box.
    6. Affix barcode labels to front of box below the lid.
    7. Download the transmittal form (Excel spreadsheet).
    8. Complete the form per its instructions.
    9. Submit a Service Request form to pick up new boxes.
    10. Look for the confirmation email from records2go in your Inbox.
    11. Hit "Reply," attach your completed transmittal form, and send.
  • Yes. Total cost including vendor services, materials, and employee labor comes to about $50 a box.

Shred Bins

  • A permanent shred bin is a gray, box-like console measuring 19" x 16" x 35". It has a slot in the front for depositing paper documents and a key lock on the front panel.

    A temporary shred bin is a large, 65-gallon trash container. It has wheels, a slot on the top, and a combination lock to secure the lid.

  • Both the secure shred bins and the blue recycling bins are part of KSU's Sustainability Program.

    Shred bins and consoles are locked containers that must be ordered through the Office of Records and Information Management. Their purpose is to securely collect and hold sensitive documents that need to be destroyed.

    Recycling bins are unlocked containers that are placed and serviced by Facilities-Building Services. Their purpose is to collect clean, uncontaminated, non-sensitive, recyclable material of various media (paper, plastic, cardboard) to be recycled rather than end up in a landfill.

    KSU recycling bins are used for "single-stream" recycling of clean paper, flattened cardboard, metal cans (including clean food and drink cans), glass, and plastic bottles (#1-#7) and can all be recycled together in the same single-stream recycling bin.

  • GOOD: Paper documents containing sensitive information, especially personally identifiable information that is not available in a public directory or website.

    SENSITIVE INFORMATION: Whatever should not be available to the general public.

    EXAMPLES: Social Security numbers; personal medical, bank, and credit card account numbers; employee resumes, applications, and job evaluations; rejection letters; legal and medical documents; graded and ungraded student exams and papers; instructional manuals with answer sheets; lists of students enrolled in classes; attendance records; patent applications; confidential research data and reports; any drafts of reports that are not for public release.

    NOTE: A small amount of metal is acceptable: Staples, paper clips, and baby binder clips are fine.

    NOT GOOD: Plastic document sleeves, spiral notebooks, 3-ring binders, medium and large metal binder clips, file folders, and any type of publicly distributed, print materials.

    PUT THESE IN A RECYCLE BIN: Printouts of public web pages, magazines, newsletters, business cards, obsolete stationery, blank forms, junk mail, file folders, handwritten notes and doodles, mailing envelopes with a KSU or public address, drafts of reports intended for public release; copies of articles or chapters from textbooks and journals; fliers and brochures; posters; family photos; employee training certificates; promotional material; vendor sales kits; paperback books missing pages; paper items on department bulletin boards.

  • The small gray shred consoles hold up to four (4) standard-size, 1-cubic foot boxes of paper.

    The large 65-gallon temporary shred bins hold up to seven (7) standard-size boxes of paper

  • Small shred consoles are assigned to specific contacts, departments, and locations. This allows the shred services driver to plan in advance the most efficient route to service all buildings on the rotation that week.

    Large 65-gallon shred bins are ordered for special clean up projects - such as office clean-outs and end-of-the-semester purges - and are removed at the end of the project.

    Since large bins have wheels and easy to move, their exact location is difficult to track. It's unrealistic to expect the shred services driver to hunt down shred bins that move at will from office to office and from floor to floor.

  • Our shred vendor collects the paper in large locked bins, transports it to their own shred facility, and shreds the paper into tiny particles. The particles are pulped, filtered, washed, brightened, cleansed again, de-inked, de-colored, washed again and pressed into sheets. These sheets can then be made into recycled paper products.

    Shred Recycling Process Workflow


  • KSU has a general fund to pay for these services. Departments are not charged individually.
  • The Office of Records and Information Management manages the contract, orders new bins, monitors their use, review the invoices, and reconciles charges with usage reports.
  • To order a either a new permanent shred console or a large temporary bin, please create a request at ServiceNow  or call us at x6289.
  • Fill out a request in ServiceNow to let us know if the console has been moved in anyway.
  • The rotation schedules are posted in detail online - under "Services" in the left-hand quick launch. 

    Generally they are as follows:

    • Rotation A (bi-weekly on Thursdays) includes Kennesaw Hall, Bagwell, and buildings on the perimeter and outskirts of the main Kennesaw campus.
    • Rotation B (bi-weekly on Thursdays) includes buildings located close to the center of the main Kennesaw campus, such as Burruss, Carmichael Student Center, Sturgis Library, etc.
    • Rotation C (monthly on Wednesdays) includes the entire Marietta campus buildings.
  • We'll work with the shred vendor to reschedule service on another day. Holiday closings have been incorporated into the annual schedule for all three rotations.
  • Primarily paper documents, but also certain folders and envelopes as well. A small amount of metal can accompany the paper, such as staples, papers clips, and small binder clips.

    Any document, folder, or envelope that contains sensitive information and that has met its retention requirement may be placed in a secure shred bin.

  • Sensitive information includes personally identifiable information; restricted research data or conclusions; non-public student information such as graded exams or medical records; blank quizzes and test questions; exam answer keys; trade secrets or pending patents; etc.
  • Any published information that is widely distributed to the public or segment of the general public, including catalogs, brochures, marketing materials, sales kits, print-outs of web pages; also blank obsolete forms, personal notes and to-do lists, envelopes sent to a KSU address, etc.
  • You do not need to remove staples, paper clips, or small binder clips. But you do need to remove hanging file folders and large metal binder clips - those can either be re-used or put in the trash.
  • Depending on the type of information stored, dispose of portable computer media as follows:

    • Place in trash: Any obsolete, outdated software install disks or other types of media containing obsolete non-confidential, non-sensitive information.
    • Place in recycle bins: Printed user manuals of obsolete, outdated software.
    • Send or deliver to UITS: Per instructions from the help desk (x6999), arrange transfer of any media containing known (or probable) obsolete confidential or sensitive information.
    • Contact KSU Archives: Per instructions from the KSU digital archivist (x2695), arrange transfer of any media known to contain final summary reports of University projects, research, major events, and prominent figures in KSU history.
  • Please create a request at ServiceNow.
  • There are several possible reasons:

    • The bin is located in a locked room and was not accessible to the vendor's driver.
    • The bin had been relocated and no one told us or the driver.
    • The bin was actually emptied on Friday, but someone cleaned out files over the weekend.
    • Due to unforeseen circumstances, the vendor's driver could not complete his work order.

    Let us know as soon as possible if you discover an overflowing bin.

  • Call us at 6289.
  • Yes! Call us at 6289.

Special Orders

  • No, you do not need to remove them from the boxes
  • No, you do not need to put them in boxes, but you will need to remove them from the filing drawers and place them in large temporary bins. A 65-gallon temp bin holds seven (7) standard-size 1-cubic foot boxes, or about seven linear feet of files (without their hanging folders).
  • Printed information intended for public consumption should be placed in unlocked recycling bins. You can submit an AiM ticket if you have a large order of recyclable materials. 
  • Yes! Call us at 6289.
  • Large temp bins are on wheels. They're easy to move, which makes it nearly impossible for us to keep track of where they all are at any point in time.

Have a question not answered here? Please contact us at records@kennesaw.edu.